Social Strain Theory

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On May 23, 2011 authorities put an end for the search of a local arson in the city of Irvine, California. Irvine police took into custody a woman suspected of starting a chain of fires on residential and school property over the last 10 months. Detectives took a 38 old woman by the name of Jana Marie Spires, into custody just after 8 a.m. that morning. At the time of the arrest, the suspect was found near Springbook Elementary School in Irvine. Nearby, the elementary school laid a stack of empty pizza boxes, which had been set fire within inches of the school administration building. After the arrest, spokeswoman Lt. Julie Engen said that “police began looking for a serial arsonist last July after noticing a pattern of fires set in trash, trash…show more content…
“The general strain theory departs from traditional strain theories by emphasizing the role of individual’s affective responses to negative life experiences in fostering deviant behavior.” (Aseltine, Gore, & Gordon, 2000, p. 256). In simpler terms, the general strain theory is known for being separate from the traditional strain theories because it puts its emphasis on the role of a person’s reaction to negative experiences that have occurred in their life resulting in deviant actions. “Most recently, Agnew has argued that strain may result not only from the failure to achieve positively valued goals, but also from the inability to escape legally from painful situations. If one draws on the above theories as well as the stress, equity/justice, and aggression literatures one can begin to develop a more complete classification of the types of strain.” (Agnew,1992, p.50). Agnew went on to not only explain how the general strain theory addressed the criticisms that arose with the social strain theories, but as well proclaimed that there was three different types of strain-inducing stimulants. These three types of strain describe a different type of negative relationship that occurs with others. Agnew goes forth by identifying these three types of strain as the failure to achieve one’s goals,…show more content…
(1992). Foundation for a general strain theory of crime and delinquency. Wiley Library, 30(1), 47-88. Blevins, K., Listwan, S., Cullen, F., & Jonson, C. (2010). A general strain theory of prison violence and misconduct: an integrated model of inmate behavior. Sage Journals Online, 26(2), Retrieved from Brown, S. (2010). Criminology. New Providence, New Jersey: Anderson Publishing De Coster, S., & Kort-Butler, L. (2006). How general is general strain theory?. Sage Journals Online, 43(4), Retrieved from Life stress, anger and anxiety, and delinquency: an empirical test of general strain theory. (2000). Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 41,

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